In the beginning
The making of an album in an old abandoned church in the deep south of Estonia.
Recorded by Mark Howard
The two composers, Kira Skov & Maria Faust, are both well established artists based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Kira left Denmark in her teens and travelled around the world for several years, spending time in both London and Los Angeles before moving back to Copenhagen to embark on her own solo carrier which instantly exploded. She’s released 11 internationally acclaimed and highly awarded studio albums to date, 3 albums with her band Kira and the Kindred Spirits, the joint recording projects with Tore Johansson and The Gospel, as well as with Peter Peter from legendary Danish Punk band Sort Sol, and their joint project Persona. She has toured the world with Tricky (UK), and released 4 solo albums, 3 of them produced by John Parish, as well as the successful recordings of The Cabin Project, produced by Mark Howard in the deep woods of Canada.
Maria Faust was born in Kuressaare, Estonia, and is is currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she is a rising star on the international experimental jazz scene. Maria is classically trained and a skilled saxophone player, composer and arranger. She is best known in the fields of third stream jazz, modern big band music, improvised music, and other alternative music styles, as well as being a member and co-founder of the musical collective/record label Barefoot Records. Maria has also toured the world, her music gaining recognition and winning her multiple awards, including two Danish Music Awards in 2014 in the categories ”Jazz Composer of the Year” and “Cross over album of the year” for her chamber-jazz project Sacrum Facere.
Mark Howard is a record producer and engineer. He is best known for his 23-year-long musical partnership wit Daniel Lanois, recording and producing artists such as Bob Dylan, Willie Nielson, Marianne Faithful, Neil Young, Tom Waits, andIggy Pop among others. Mark is known for his unique ability to set up mobile studios and record albums in alternative settings such as the desert, an old abandoned, theatres, and so forth.
Kira teamed up with Mark Howard in Los Angeles in 2008, where he mixed her album ”The Rail Train, the Meadow, the Freeway and the Shadows.” They stayed in touch and he later on became the producer of the highly acclaimed recording of The Cabin Project, and now they are about to embark on a new adventure together.
We have known for some time now that we needed to make some music together. In February of 2016 we visited Estonia and went on a road trip to the deep south of the country, close to the Latvian and Russian borders, looking for inspiration for the creation of the music and a location for the actual recording. We found this breathtakingly beautiful old Orthodox Church from 1873 which is currently not being used for mass, since the population in this area is practically non-existent. Inspired by the unique history of this specific world, Estonian myths, and the brutal history of the changing regimes, from the Nazis to the Soviet occupation, and even the history of slavery that took place centuries before these well-documented dark times in our common history. We have dived into a collaborative musical journey, searching for lost songs in this abandoned land. A treasure treasure trove of forgotten tales and hypnotic chants of Estonian folklore, which we are processing and translating into our own sound and tales. Our plan is to record the music, which we are currently creating together, with a small Estonian choir, brass and woodwinds, upright bass, cello, and percussion with Kira’s voice in the lead.
Mark Howard will set up the recording studio and record the session in the church. As there is no electricity, we will need to bring generators and everything needed to record at the site. We’ll also need to rent cabins for the musicians, as well as feed and reimburse a large production of people documenting the process. Making this album will not only be a unique opportunity to create a rare and inspiring setting for the music to unfold within, but should also bring attention to a all-but lost culture and a donation from us could help the almost extinct community in restoring this breathtaking historical building.
This is a very special record for us, and the culture it represents. The musical preparation is already underway. Together with the great Mark Howard, we are certain that we will make a spectacular album, and your donation will assist us in creating a record that will remind the world of culture on the verge of disappearance.
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!